Sat, 26 Feb 2000

Residents agree to road construction

JAKARTA (JP): Residents whose houses are to be demolished to build planned roads in Pegangsaan and Menteng subdistricts, said on Friday they would agree to vacate only if they are given adequate compensation.

Interviewed separately, they said that most local residents were ready to move at any time.

"We have yet to be informed on the amount of compensation. If the amount is unfair, we will flatly reject the plan," Kurnia, one of the residents, said.

Kurnia, the owner of a furniture repair workshop, said local residents did not intend to block the construction of the streets, but they need money to purchase or rent new homes.

Another resident, Sopiah, said she would return to her parents' hometown of Bogor. "I will purchase land there if the compensation is enough," said the resident, who claims to have lived in the slum area since she was born 50 years ago.

She said most residents had stayed there for a couple of years.

The Central Jakarta Mayoralty plans to construct two streets, which will affect at least 181 homes in the Pegangsaan subdistrict and another 63 in the Menteng area, Menteng district, Central Jakarta.

The planned 13-meter-wide road will connect Jl. Tambak and Jl. Bonang in Pegangsaan, while the other, which will be six meters wide, will connect Jl. Menteng Tenggulun and Jl. Menteng Jaya in Menteng.

The 500-meter-long street project, scheduled to be completed some time next year, was disclosed to local residents on Monday evening. However, the administration had yet to calculate the compensation for the land.

Saminah, 42, a housewife, acknowledged that most local residents were no longer content to stay in the area, which has been considered "notorious" due to frequent outbreaks of violence throughout the neighborhood.

"Actually, some residents have wanted to move to other areas for a long time, but they don't have any money. So they are making use of this project to get money to move out," she said.

For years, the area has been well-known for brawls among locals, in which property has been damaged and many residents have reportedly been killed or forced to flee. (ind)